Ocean Park has extended its cooperation with the mainland's biggest marine park operator for another three years, to explore how to reach out to more visitors and to share research into aquarium animals.
The two sides would exchange aquarium creatures as well as knowledge on how to resolve animal-related problems, such as disease prevention, the mainland operator, Haichang, said yesterday.
They would also explore ways to teach visitors about animal and environmental protection, Haichang said.
Haichang operates six marine theme parks, in Dalian , Qingdao , Tianjin , Yantai , Wuhan and Chengdu .
The six parks together drew about 8.4 million visitors last year, compared with Ocean Park's 7.7 million.
Under a memorandum of cooperation, the two operators would work more closely "in areas such as brand-name promotion and marketing, personnel development, animal sustainability and technical-skills exchange".
There would also be a platform to exchange knowledge in sales and marketing.
Ocean Park said the agreement differed from the last cooperation in terms of a deeper exchange of sales and marketing knowledge this time.
"Our cooperation has been working out great," a spokeswoman said. "We will also continue to exchange knowledge on different issues such as marine conservation."
Ocean Park bade farewell in June to its chairman, flamboyant entrepreneur Allan Zeman, after 11 years. A few days after the announcement, Zeman said the government had not consulted him on ending his tenure, and "I felt kind of angry for a while".
During Zeman's chairmanship, visitor numbers rose to 7.73 million last year from 2.95 million in 2003, while a HK$4 million deficit in 2003 - the year severe acute respiratory syndrome struck - was turned into a HK$127.2 million surplus.